Your behavior appears to be a little unusual. Please verify that you are not a bot.

Predicting the future of technology in the green industry

September 14, 2022 -  By
Scythe’s M.52 mower offers automation that could be incredibly valuable in the near future. (Photo: Scythe Robotics)

Scythe’s M.52 mower offers automation that could be incredibly valuable in the near future. (Photo: Scythe Robotics)


Editor’s note: This is a preview of one of 11 educational sessions Landscape Management will present at the 2022 Equip Expo in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 19-21. To register for this and all Equip Expo educational sessions, you’ll first need to register to attend the show. Click here for 50 percent off your Equip Expo registrationDuring the registration process, you’ll be prompted to add educational sessions.

It’s an interesting time for the green industry in 2022. Robotics, battery-powered equipment and new software have the potential to push the industry even more into the future with efficiency gains and optimization.

Michael Mayberry, chief technology officer for Level Green Landscaping in Upper Marlboro, Md., says, “Things are moving so quickly that it’s hard to really know what’s going to stick and what’s not going to stick.”

But Mayberry, along with Utkarsh Sharma, CEO of SiteRecon, a software company that automates measurements for project estimation, and Billy Otteman, director of marketing for Scythe Robotics, will attempt to make sense of technology in the coming years during a panel discussion at the 2022 Equip Expo titled “Tomorrow’s tools … today,” held Wednesday, Oct. 19 from 9-10:30 a.m.

Mayberry, Otteman and Sharma join other industry professionals to predict what advancements will have the biggest impact on green industry operations in the next five and 10 years.


Mayberry says most companies already use some form of automation, whether it’s text alerts for services or automatic emails for potential clients. Landscape companies will continue to add more and more automation to streamline processes.

Michael Mayberry

Michael Mayberry

“There’s a lot more automation that can happen and will happen in the next five years because the technology already exists for that to occur,” he says. “I think 10 years is really the tipping point for robotics. I think in 10 years, robotics will be mainstream.”

Mayberry expects even smaller operations to sell and deploy robotic mowing services to cover more ground and maximize the detail work human employees can do. He predicts that companies will automate enhancement sales and account management, using data pulled from the fleet of robotic mowers and artificial intelligence (AI) to help recognize patterns and potential upselling opportunities on properties. Mayberry says he expects robotic mowers will spot problem trees or limbs, drainage and turf issues.

“That’s where an account manager who’s currently managing $1 million today, can easily manage $2 million in 10 years when they’re not having to write those low-hanging proposals,” he says. “They can focus on client connections and the larger install projects that are really going to spruce up a property that a robot can’t do.”

Otteman says landscape professionals should expect some big breakthroughs in the next five or 10 years. But it’s important to plan now for a future with robotics.

Billy Otteman

Billy Otteman

“The industry is on the brink of some massive and exciting transformation,” he says. “It’s important to start thinking now about how electric, connected and autonomous equipment will change landscaping operations. How can you increase the tech savviness of your team? Are your facilities equipped with the electrical infrastructure and internet services needed for these products? And are your clients ready to see these advanced technologies deployed on their properties? It’s going to be a big shift, so it’s not too early to start thinking about implementation.”

More data, more insights

Sharma says he expects geographic information systems (GIS) tracking and AI to play a bigger role in crew deployment. Operations managers learn more about when and how a crew uses equipment, which will also help inform companies about the need to purchase equipment.

Utkarsh Sharma

Utkarsh Sharma

“Location tracking sensors will give real-time insights into crew efficiency, equipment utilization and production rates,” he says. “The real efficiency gain lies in tracking every piece of equipment, every crew member. The key piece of the puzzle is AI. It crunches all that data to surface actionable insights. Operations managers can leverage these insights to implement process changes in the job flow and rationalize equipment investments.”

Sharma also expects future updates of production software to include GIS data with crew deployment for all accounts. This technology will help streamline internal communication about safety risks, customer requests and any other service issues, he says.

More electric

As for the type of equipment the industry will be using? Sharma and Mayberry expect battery-powered and electric equipment to become the predominant type of equipment used at job sites within the next five to 10 years.

“I think we’ll see a big decline in gas engines over the next five years and a bigger push towards electric,” Mayberry says. “10 years out, we’ll probably be getting close to mostly electric.”

Otteman says battery-powered equipment will open opportunities for landscape business owners to better understand how and when crews use equipment with valuable data. This shift, he says, will continue to grow.

“The shift to electric-powered technologies is happening quickly across industries, the automotive industry is a great one to consider, and electric products are increasing in quality and performance,” he says. “Electric equipment will certainly be found in almost every green industry business in the next five years. Clients are demanding it, local governments are requiring it and the planet needs it.”

Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University. She can be reached at

Comments are currently closed.